Harrods' strike breaking agency named and shamed
Protective Security Group Ltd workers’ ‘didn’t know’ they had been brought in to break pay strike
The agency brought in to break a pay strike by Harrods’ security guards and CCTV operators has been named and shamed as Protective Security Group Ltd.
Under the new anti-trade union law passed this summer by the government, Harrods has been allowed to replace striking workers with agency staff. The company threatened the workforce with the legislation previously and is one of the first employers in the country to use it.
To break the strike, Harrods, owned by the Qatari state, has contracted Protective Security, which is registered in Ruislip, Middlesex, and has two directors, Jonathon Robinson and Edward Thomas Miller.
Unite understands that Protective Security workers brought into work at Harrods during the strikes were not told there was industrial action taking place and were uncomfortable crossing a picket line.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The Qatari state has rightly been condemned for the way workers have been treated in that country. Now it is embroiled in a row over the way workers are being treated in this one.
“Harrods believes using this disgraceful new law is to its advantage, but it is just making the dispute worse and dragging more parties into it. Our members are undaunted and they have the full backing of Unite behind them.”
More than 50 Harrods uniformed security guards and CCTV operators are striking over a ‘pay cut dressed up as a rise’.
The workers began three days of strike action over a seven per cent pay offer on 25 November and will strike again on 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 26 December. The offer is a pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, stands at 14.2 per cent and rising.
Harrods made a profit of £51 million in 2021/22 and doubled the pay of its managing director Michael Ward to £2.3 million, even though the company claimed nearly £6 million under the government’s Covid furlough scheme.
Unite regional officer Balvindir Bir added, “Harrods can afford to put forward an offer our members can accept and it needs to do so.”
By Ryan Fletcher